Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution

Conflicts exist in all countries and at every level of society. Conflict in itself is not necessarily negative, but rather an expression of differences of interest and usually involves the struggle for justice, equal treatment and development. However, when a conflict is not handled by peaceful means, when it escalates and people resort to violence, the negative impacts can be enormous.

A common and often overlooked reason for escalation and violence is the lack of mechanisms and institutions to address conflicts in a constructive manner. Conflict preventive and resolutive work is undertaken in order to avoid the occurrence of violence and its escalation and recurrence.

Dialogue and mediation are important tools in such work. A dialogue process is an open-ended discussion that entails listening, understanding, and the sharing of perspectives. A mediation process is more formalized, with a mediator providing a framework for negotiations aimed at reaching a concrete settlement, such as a peace agreement. Mediation processes are often instituted when a conflict has escalated and positions are more entrenched than previously.

Reconciliation is an important tool to prevent the recurrence of violence in a society emerging from conflict. Half of all violent conflicts re-emerge five years after the signing of a peace agreement. As such, a course of reconciliation is vital in a post-conflict society and must encompass the majority of the society’s members - whether perpetrators or victims, active or passive, in the underlying struggle.

Reconciliation can involve various approaches and activities. However, official reconciliation processes tend to include scrutiny of the past to establish the truth of what happened during the conflict, the consideration of elements of justice to redress victims, compensation in the form of reparations or memorials and national mourning days, and apologies at official or personal level.

In international peace missions in conflict areas, civilian observers play an increasingly important role. The observers’ mandate differ, but their role is often to monitor and follow up on human rights violations or to oversee the implementation of peace or armistice agreements. Their work is important and helps the international community to understand and resolve ongoing conflicts.

What does the FBA do?

MORE FROM HOME

Intensified support to the peace process in Mali

The peace process in Mali is fragile and the security situation remains difficult in large parts of the country, not the least for women. FBA supports Mali’s newly-established regional dialogue and mediation teams, and offers gender mainstreaming training for key state officials involved in the peace process.

2019-04-24 10:41

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Community-Based Reintegration Support in Eastern DRC

Since the mid-1990s, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been plagued by a nearly unbroken series of interrelated conflicts. Over time, conflicts in eastern DRC have evolved from large-scale interstate wars to predominately local conflict. Ongoing approaches to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) in the region have not co-evolved to suit the current context of local conflict dynamics.

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2019

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Susanna Rudehill

    Are we making the link between peace and gender equality in Mali?

    We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This groundbreaking resolution was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council, the highest decision-making body on international peace and security, in 2000. It recognizes the specific needs of women and girls in crisis situations and the key role women can play for peace in their countries.

    The resolution is based on the simple conclusion that peace is not possible without the involvement of ... Read entire post »

    2019-06-13 14:43
  • Posted by Anna Möller-Loswick

    “If men are better mediators, why is there always chaos in our countries?”

    At the beginning of May, I arrived in Oslo to attend this year’s annual meeting for the Nordic Women Mediators Network (NWM). The NWM consists of five Nordic networks of women with significant experience and expertise relevant to conflict mediation, peacebuilding and negotiations. The NWM meets at least once a year to share experiences and explore avenues for collaboration to promote women’s role in peace processes.

    This year, the Norwegian network hosted the annual NWM meeting, which ... Read entire post »

    2019-06-05 10:25
  • Posted by Juliana Huus

    In Liberia, security is everybody’s business

    According to the FBA’s definition, security sector reform (SSR) is a concept that frames technical reforms within a political process.

    I think back two weeks to when I was in Liberia, reciting the for me now very familiar but abstract above sentence. The participants in the room, 16 program officers from the Liberian National Security Council Secretariat, were repeating this sentence with me in unison.

    For the past four days, we had tried to unpack this sentence in ... Read entire post »

    2019-04-26 16:08
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